Jim & Sarah Brady Statement on Giffords Rally Tragedy in Tucson

-

jim sarah brady.jpgStatement from Jim and Sarah Brady:

Jim and I are deeply saddened and deeply angered by the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, Judge John Roll, and the constituents, including a 9-year-old child, who had assembled with her outside of a Tucson grocery store today.
We know the deep pain and horror that all the family members and loved ones who have been made victims by this man and his gun are going through. We wish we didn’t, but we know it too well. We were there almost 30 years ago, dealing with the doctors, the hospital, the surgeons, and so much uncertainty.
We were there coping with the horror of bullet wounds to the head, not knowing if Jim would live or die or what kind of life he would have. We were there hoping and praying for the best, that his life would be spared and the damage to his brilliant mind would be minimal.
We want all the families to know that we were there then, and we are with them now. Our thoughts, our hopes – we pray that they can feel them and know just a small measure of peace. We pray that they understand how committed we long have been to making our beloved country a place where gun violence doesn’t happen so easily and destroy so many.
We offer our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We offer our assistance, in any way that it might be helpful, to those who have survived and will struggle, as we have, to heal from the unspeakable horror of gun violence.
With our love and prayers,
Jim and Sarah Brady

Here is more from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

32 comments on “Jim & Sarah Brady Statement on Giffords Rally Tragedy in Tucson

  1. Sweetness says:

    Drew writes: “The Maryland economist John Lott has published extensively on the correlation between concealed carry/liberal legal gun ownership laws, and reduced crime.”
    It’s also been challenged/debunked on methodological grounds. See …
    Shooting Down the ?More Guns,
    Less Crime? Hypothesis
    Ian Ayres* & John J. Donohue III**

    Reply

  2. Linda says:

    Drew,
    I wasn’t going to comment any more because I don’t have time. You may or may not believe it, but I was sincerely trying to reach out to you to find common ground, asking you to propose anything we could do better to prevent needless deaths from guns, as a public health issue.
    I did educate myself enough to learn that some people use glocks for sport shooting–so I will reassure you that I don’t want to take away your glock if that makes it easier to discuss these issues.
    I probably am not going to recall all of them because there have been so many trageies in the past 10-15 years before Tuscon, but I think there also has been Columbine, VA Tech, North IL U., and many more.
    I know the names of many members of Congress, but I had never heard of Congresswoman Giffords and surely not of Judge Roll before last weekend. I do always know the names of people who represent me in federal, state, and local government. I often know the names of one or two federal district court judges but surely not all of them. Their names were not household words nor were they “celebrities” until last Saturday. Their deaths are shocking because they represent two of our three branches of government.
    You ascribe two motivations to people who want
    more control of guns:
    1. We want to impose extra-democratic controls on others’ behaviors and limit their freedom. I think there can be and are reasonable restrictions on freedoms when one peraon’s risk-taking behavior is imposed on others.
    Guns fall in that category and so do cars and tobacco because they can and do impact others.
    I want a car with seatbelts and air bags because I could be hit by a drunk or reckless driver. I don’t want to breathe second-hand smoke from others. Even with all the education of dangers 25% of people still smoke.
    Obesity is a big problem, but obese people don’t force feed me. Nutrition labels have been on foods for years and even in fast food places and don’t change much, because the people who read and use this information usually are not obese.
    On such issues, you assume an all-or-nothing. black/white, them/us knee-jerk response to everything. They all think that way. I am a public health professional, but I don’t believe that either San Francisco’s or NYC’s approaches to obesity are particularly cost-effective.
    I do not wish to take away anyone’s choice for more risky behavior just because I am more risk-adverse. I don’t hunt (and there are hunting accidents even with experienced hunters like our previous VP) or ski.
    But when those risky behaviors put me at added risk, I want some reasonable controls on them.
    2. You assume that that people like me have no familiarity with your cultural values that are tied to geography, i.e., as if you know where anyone here has lived or anything about my life experiences or what I like (maybe both country music and classical music).
    I haven’t made any such assumptions about you. I am trying to understand you, to find common ground because I love and care about this country, and I assume you do too.
    I grew up around hunters. It was part of the cultural and a very popular sport. People didn’t even lock their doors. We paid high taxes and got enough police that people didn’t feel a need to arm themselves instead.
    While I was in escrow on the first home I owned, I voted against Prop 13–against my own interests because I believed that eventually it would lead to the disaster we now see in California. I was one of the last people on my block to put bars on the window or get a burglar alarm system–only because there weren’t enough police any more. I’d rather have spent that money on more taxes and more police.
    I didn’t buy a gun. My neighbor did. The only time he ever used it was to shoot at (and miss) an opossum eating avocados that had fallen from my avocado tree. I thought he wasn’t very smart because he knew nothing about opossums that are harmless creatures that mostly eat fruits but also rats and other things I didn’t want in my house. I considered it a wonderful urban miracle to have them in my yard in the middle of the city and talked with him about opossums so that he understood that they wouldn’t hurt his small children.
    I am risk adverse–so when I was living in areas where there was hunting, I knew not to go into those woods wearing dark and natural colors during hunting season. Ironically many years later I went into and sent my home health staff into home in Watts where it was unsafe to wear the bright colors of the Bloods or Crips–dark and natural colors were the safe ones. That’s about all of my life experience I intend to share here, and I think that says a lot.
    I don’t think of myself as particularly brave, but I do think that much of the gun ownership for protection is a product of fear (lack of enough tax revenue to have adequate police) and the lobbying of the NRA. At a very minimum I want certain kinds of assault weapons only in the hands of law enforcement or the military who have been trained to shoot to kill. I don’t think it is a natural human instinct for people to shoot each other; they have to be trained to do that.
    In other situations, I’ve used statistics and examples from Norway that has interesting gun laws,and other statistics. I will defer to Paul Nordheim who can explain this better than I can.
    We can engage in American exceptionalism about this issue. We do the same about having the best health care in the world and as we used to do about our education system. But if we keep believing as a nation that we are exceptional and the still best at everything and stay this divided, then we are as delusional as Loughner.
    I am very fearful about that.

    Reply

  3. drew says:

    Paul, I don’t think I caricatured anything. What are you referring
    to?
    First of all, this country has thousands of statutes at all levels
    regulating firearm ownership and use. How’s that working out?
    We just don’t have the right ones in place yet? If one’s impulse is
    to suppress or eliminate weapons ownership, it’s not working
    out. Second, enhanced gun control, like any other kind of
    control, could certainly be implemented in the USA, and would
    be, if 1) 70% of the population didn’t think it was a bad idea; and
    2) it weren’t unconstitutional.
    The gun control impulse is one that has been tested severely in
    the public opinion marketplace and, again, 70% of the country
    thinks we have the appropriate level of gun control today, if not
    too much. I’m not sure why people struggle with this concept of
    living by laws that are constitutionally created by democratic and
    representative republican processes. The constitutional problem
    could go away via the amendment process, but I suspect that
    effort might result in one or two state legislatures supporting
    the revoking of second amendment protections — somewhat
    short of the supermajority requirement. The USA has one
    avowedly socialist sitting senator, Sanders/Vermont, and
    Vermont has more liberal gun laws than Arizona, and has for a
    long time.
    At some point, the anti-gun people just need to propose some
    practical steps they want taken. They can’t, because they’ve
    already tried, and they don’t earn enough votes.
    This bothers intellectuals, who do not think that on many issues
    the popular will is legitimate or qualified to create laws. But, you
    know, tough beans. That not how things work in a
    representative republic. So I really don’t know what people are
    talking about, when they say, “Someone who should have been
    in the hospital because he’s deranged just killed some people, as
    happens every day in this country only this time celebrities were
    involved. So we have to do something about people who obey
    the law and would like the option of defending themselves from
    the deranged.” This is just not a winning, logical argument.
    Since enhanced gun control, by definition, disarms the innocent
    (because they are the only ones who would comply with any new
    law imposed on them; criminals would celebrate such a law), it’s
    not clear to me what enhanced gun control advocates want to
    see happen. Seems to me that I’m pretty clear on what I would
    like to see happen: I would like to see liberalized concealed carry
    and ownership privileges continue their ascendency. I suspect
    that so-called “gun control” advocates really have two objectives,
    but I don’t know.
    One would be to create extra-democratic controls on behaviors
    they don’t approve of, sort of like Bloomberg banning this or that
    substance in my food when I’m in the City.
    The second would be to impose their cultural values from their
    particular geography on people and places they have never seen.
    It drives the anti-gun crowd nuts that there is a sophisticated,
    democratic and — worst of all — majority-popular pro-gun
    population in this country, whose behavior is rooted in the Bill of
    Rights. It’s just really inconvenient if you want to tell other
    people what to do, because you consider yourself more evolved
    or better educated or whatever.
    Maybe they should just encourage the Obama administration to
    make an administrative ruling at the federal level, like the EPA
    announcing that CO2 is covered by the Clean Air Act, and thus
    Cap and Trade legislation isn’t necessary and it doesn’t matter
    that there are insufficient votes to pass Cap and Trade. So
    maybe the executive function of the government can just
    forward some rules that put this debate to rest.
    Looking forward to seeing that happen. Talk about an extinction
    burst.

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    Paul, nice try at reasonableness!
    Problems I see are first that guns mean different things to different people in different places in this very very huge country. Rural people, people with military training or police training or hunting training are far more comfortable with gun culture, with family traditions of shooting living things or shooting targets or shooting coke cans. Urban people tend to associate guns either with urban crime or with suicide or with the 4 year old’s accidentally shooting the 2 year old…. All of these are tragic, and we urbanites often blame them on the existence of guns, not on the existence of people. Though some urbanites carry guns or have guns because they fear urban crime. I think the stats show that the guns don’t do a whole lot of good, but do lead to more suicides and shot 2 year olds.
    Because we all have different images and fantasies regarding guns, we come down on very different sides of the debate at this level.
    Next, add in the movie images that lead to self-protection anxieties, the high diversity low trust nature of our populace and you get another layer. And I guess apocalyptic fantasies probably play another role here. Besides there’s a democratic president right now who has stated quite publicly that he agrees that there’s an individual right to own guns. See, the government is going to confiscate drew’s guns — Obama just said so!
    Pile on the history of the country as revolutionary, ant-tyranny, anti-government, and the fact that the Second Amendment, in very very unclear and totally odd language with a crazy comma, says something about the right to keep and bear arms, but it does so in a way that the Supreme Court has only very recently ruled means that individuals can carry Glocks and shoot the shit out of one another….
    We aren’t one nation in a lot of ways. We see the world from very different places. We don’t trust each other. We don’t much like each other. And we generally want to be armed against one another, or we want everyone disarmed.
    There’s nothing rational in most of this, and what applies in one place really makes no sense in other places.
    If I have an issue with a skunk, a squirrel (!), a raccoon, a person, I call either animal control or 911 and I get help that way. I don’t shoot anything at all. I do know how to propel a rubber band from my fingers to a target across the room! Sometimes I don’t miss.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    Linda, Drew, Kervick, Questions, POA,
    re the gun debate – are the fundamental (political-
    philosophical) positions so radically different among you that
    there is no point discussing this? Or are both sides just
    creating caricature images of each other that simply don’t fit
    your real positions?
    Do both sides agree that there is a problem related to guns in
    America? Would you all think that some steps would be
    commendable – or would one side demand drastic steps, while
    the other side would regard even tiny steps as a threat to basic
    American values?
    Ok, forgive me for this probably foolish attempt to be a
    mediator here. But it seems to me that maybe, just maybe, if
    you look beyond the fundamental differences (which are real, I
    won’t deny that), there could be some common ground?
    I base this on actual statements from some of the participants
    on both sides.
    Here is Dan Kervick, from a comment on the thread above this
    – delivering concrete suggestions:
    “I would prefer we required licenses to possess firearms;
    stringent restrictions on the numbers and kinds of firearms one
    can own; broad concealed weapon and carry restrictions; more
    stringent age and competency restrictions, etc.”
    And here is POA, in his habitual polemical style, from the same
    thread:
    “Interesting that Kervick advanced “sensible laws” that are
    ALREADY ON THE BOOKS, yet he had no comment on a
    proposed bit of legislation that needs to be on the books,
    namely reinstituting, federally, the law that outlaws extended
    magazines. There is simply no reason for anyone to have the
    capacity to shoot 30 rounds without reloading. In fact, I think
    the proposed legislation does not go far enough, as the need
    for ten rounds even seems unreasonable to me.
    Although Kervick masqueraded himself as supporting “normal”
    laws, something tells me that no amount of legislation, short of
    convinscation, would satisfy his wishes for a gun safe society.
    And the truth is, convinscation would not stop gun crime. You
    know it, and I know it. It would, however, make criminals out of
    a HUGE segment of our society, because very few gun owners
    would willingly turn in their entire collection to the authorities.
    As far as the “well armed militia” opposing a tyranical
    government, I find it ridiculous.”
    ——————————————
    But POA, although “something” tells you that Kervick would not
    be satisfied short of confiscation, Kervick did not tell you that.
    When we go beyond mutual suspicions, and look at what you’re
    actually suggesting here, and compare it to what Kervick said,
    the abyss between the respective positions seems to shrink
    considerably. Both your and Dan’s concrete suggestions seem
    reasonable, and not extreme at all. So what’s all the fuzz about
    – beyond the regrettable fact that some people seem know too
    little about weapons while some people seem to know too
    much? Mostly unfounded mutual suspicions?
    And Linda: Is there nothing reasonable in POA’s concrete
    suggestions?
    And Drew: Are Dan Kervick’s concrete suggestions really so
    liberal, ignorant and dangerous that America as we know it will
    disappear if they were implemented – or do you see something
    sensible both in POA’s and Kervick’s suggestions?
    What is real in this discussion, and what is straw men and
    fighting phantoms?
    I enjoy a real fight, but this one seems founded not only on old
    principles, but also ancient mutual prejudices that seem 50%
    built on pure fiction.

    Reply

  6. drew says:

    ” …because you really think I want to take your guns away from you
    …”
    For someone who rejects ad hominem argument, you seem to be
    doing a lot of mind-reading and speculation on my motives and
    feelings.

    Reply

  7. Linda says:

    Drew,
    I guess we just agree to disagree because you really think I want to take your guns away from you, and you responded only on that level.
    “There are all manner of regulations now that require education,restrict certain public or private spaces from admitting weapons,
    prevent those with verified mental disorders or priors from owning weapons. It seems that you are not familiar with them.”
    This is the only response you made to anything I suggested. I am aware of many of these laws but also aware that the databases, for example, are not properly funded or as good as they could be.
    Again you didn’t say which ones, if any, you think are reasonable regulation or restrictions but argued ad hominem by saying I don’t know them. Earlier I do believe you told me that I infantalize people, leave articles out in my hurried typing, and don’t present facts when I provided a link to CDC website so that you or any adult interested could read them yourself rather than have me cherry-pick them for you.
    We probably just have different world views because I know a lot of good people but I don’t know any perfect ones. Human beings make mistakes–and err. So both in my professional experience and among people I have known, I’ve encountered suicides using guns, children killed in gun accidents, and domestic murders that probably would not have happened if a loaded gun had not been handy.
    I have known personally and professionally families that have a chronically seriously mentally ill adult (at age 18)and what the families go through even when the person is under psychiatric treatment and medicated—and decides on his/her own without anyone knowing in advance to stop taking the medications. Even when off medications, many of them are not dangerous to others but run up bills, do insane wild things that are socially unacceptable, etc. The families often are exhausted even when very caring, etc. You see all these families as somehow defective and irresponsible. Even the best of mental health professionals can’t predict future behavior perfectly and lose patients to suicide sometimes.
    It’s not a perfect world full of perfect people.
    The highest risk group often is young men from teens to early twenties as that is the time when major psychoses frequently erupt as well as reckless behavior including alcohol and drug abuse, over-estimating driving skills, etc.
    The anecdote I mentioned initially came from a facility for young paraplegic patients, and you are correct about motorcycle accidents. The CDC website is for their center on injury prevention. You didn’t mention whether you think there should be laws about wearing helmets while riding a motorcyle—that is a big group as well as diving accidents–all most prevalent among young men. I believe that we should try to prevent injuries and deaths for all those causes to save the pain, suffering, and expense they create.
    I have happened for the past ten years to live in urban middle class nice neighborhoods but close enough to much more dangerous ones that many of my neighbors are needlessly afraid (five years in a state that highly regulates guns and most recent five years in one that doesn’t.) I’m not afraid of either criminals or law-abiding citizens with guns because statistically the odds are slim that either will kill me. I do avoid certain bars and areas at night and don’t walk alone after dark–simple precautions. I have seen how just one murder in both neighborhoods creates fear and panic—even when it was an isolated event and overall crime rates with and without guns were falling.
    AZ has lots of people armed for self-defense, but none of them happened to be in the right place last Saturday. We will never know if some citizen with a glock could have prevented some of the deaths or might have accidentally killed even more people. The hero was a man in his 70s with a folding chair.
    You seem afraid that the government will take away your guns and ability to defend yourself.
    I think that is the extreme NRA position that keeps us from doing better for all citizens on these issues.
    We all wish that Congresswoman Giffords makes a full recovery. I wonder if perhaps her ideas on gun regulation and motorcycle helmets will change….

    Reply

  8. drew says:

    Linda, I don’t make ad hominem attacks, and I don’t name-call.
    I’m sorry you think I do. “Ad hominem” is to challenge motive
    and I challenge, vigorously, those ideas or arguments that I think
    are incorrect. I take frequent breaks from this blog because I
    really dislike the profanity and name-calling that ensues, and I
    dislike intensely the questioning of motive and character. I find
    your arguments weak and removed from fact, data and logic,
    and that is not an ad hominem form of argument.
    I think your premise here is badly mistaken: you’re assuming
    that because a nutjob went on a rampage, that the Constitution
    of the United States requires revision. I do not think new laws
    and and a modified Constitution should be the result of a
    delusional rampage by one out of 308 million people. You
    haven’t suggested what the “situation” is that you want to
    “improve”. If you want to rid your imagination or your country of
    guns, that’s fine, but this one incident is an anecdotal disaster,
    like a deranged mother killing her own children, and we aren’t
    walking around discussing a ban on mothers as a result of the
    annual case of a mother losing it and killing her own children.
    The so-called “assault weapons” ban was silly, because it created
    a prohibition based on cosmetics, not functionality. It also, and
    this is typical of anti-gun legislation that is written by people
    who don’t know anything about guns, fails to recognize the
    symbiotic role of hunting rifles in the delivery and development
    of military technology, and vice versa. My home defense device
    is a pump action semi-automatic shotgun, and it’s little different
    than what the Marines are using now in combat to clear houses
    in places like Fallujah. I don’t want a single shot shotgun if
    somebody breaks into my house. Gail Collins wrote a stupid
    column yesterday saying that a Glock 19 was not her idea of a
    pistol, so why were they sold legally? Well, they’re sold legally
    because they’re good pistols that do the job they were designed
    for, like a Porsche, say. Both will kill people in an instant if
    misused.
    Gun crime is a ‘public health’ matter in the sense that motorcycle
    accidents are a ‘public health’ matter. If you do stupid shit on a
    motorcycle, you’re going to die. I’m sure some people would
    make motorcycles illegal if they could, as a result.
    Gun crime declines in any environment where citizens are
    allowed to carry weapons legally. This is because criminals are
    rational (unless they are paranoid schizophrenics, like this guy
    Loughner). So the only logical outcomes of your position are to
    remove guns from the landscape utterly, which is impossible,
    and hence merely tips the balance in favor of people who act
    illegally; or to advance policies that reduce, rather than increase,
    gun crime. And one policy that has reduced gun crime in every
    jurisdiction ever studied is the introduction of concealed carry
    laws, so that ordinary people like Joe Zamudio in Tucson feel
    empowered to run toward the shooting, toward a man shooting
    adults and children dead, rather than cowering in fear until the
    killer runs out of bullets and a policeman drives up.
    If you are afraid to be around criminals with guns, I say, Who
    isn’t? That’s the whole point here. If you are afraid to be around
    citizens with guns, I say, You already are, depending on your
    jurisdiction, and fear without data is no argument for legislation.
    There are all manner of regulations now that require education,
    restrict certain public or private spaces from admitting weapons,
    prevent those with verified mental disorders or priors from
    owning weapons. It seems that you are not familiar with them.
    It’s straightforward to advance a gun-elimination agenda.
    Modify the Constitution, remove the right of self-defense that
    the second amendment has been found to enshrine, sweep the
    country of 300mm weapons, and create some sort of police
    entity that magically prevents the creation of a black market for
    the remaining guns. That’s utopian, in my view, an assault on
    individual liberties, and an absurd response to a random act of
    violence by one person with a clinical mental disorder.
    And it will never happen. Americans are not willing to grant
    monopoly power to their government, under the assumption that
    it’s better to hide under the bed (or in the Zamudio case, hide
    behind the counter in the Walgreens where he was standing
    when the shooting started) and wait for a policeman to arrive.
    If you want to assert policy changes here I would look at the
    patients’ rights legislation and see if families couldn’t be granted
    more authority than is now possible; see if families shouldn’t be
    held legally liable for certain behaviors of known problem
    children; ask why the Tucson police didn’t do anything about this
    guy, because they knew he was making death threats, had visited
    his home several times, and knew that he was expelled from
    school (these are the people saying that political speech must
    now be regulated because this nutjob wanted to create his own
    currency and became violent about it); ask why a
    Congresswoman is not escorted by a deputy when meeting with
    the public (any football coach in a D-I program is escorted
    during games, you know). There are a lot of things that went
    wrong here with this one man out of 308 million people. If we
    want to start making law on the basis of one random disaster,
    then let’s start by focusing on the person who broke the law, and
    wondering why he was walking the streets to begin with. New
    gun control laws in places like Tucson will not prevent deranged
    criminals from buying guns, any more than anti-drug laws
    prevented him from getting high.

    Reply

  9. Linda says:

    Drew,
    I seldom post on TWN because I don’t like all the ad hominem attacks when they aren’t aimed (no pun intended) at me and yours above were. I’m ignoring them because I sincerely would like to have an intelligent discussion to see if we can find any common ground.
    I hesitate to quote any statistics and get into a statistical battle, but the latest I’ve heard is that 41% of persons in U.S. own guns. You are one of them, and I am one of the other 59% or whatever.
    I hope we can agree on a few premises, i.e., the first and most important job of an elected government and a constitution is to keep citizens’ lives safe by joining together and by using the ballots, not bullets, to effect changes in how we govern ourselves.
    I think we also can agree that First Amendment rights do not include being allowed to falsely yell “Fire” in a crowded room–and that Second Amendment rights also can be constitutionally regulated.
    I look at gun control laws from a public health point of view. And then gun control laws (or any laws) won’t work unless adequate funds and staff are appropriated to implement the laws.
    I’ll take any suggestion from you that you’ll give me to improve the situation. So what would you recommend as reasonable and constitutional regulation of guns?
    Bring back the assault weapons law that was in place from 1994 until 2004?
    Provide more funding to enforce the gun laws already enacted? Better databases? Less instant background checks?
    Require people to take and pass gun safety classes in order to register guns?
    Could bringing guns into any public places be prohibited? Courthouses, legislative chambers, government buildings, high schools, colleges, bars? With or without permits to carry concealed weapons?
    We may not have any common ground and can only agree to disagree if you believe the situation is so bad that the only way to feel more safe is for everyone to arm himself. Whether in the hands of criminals or private citizens, I feel less safe with more and more guns owned by people who don’t know how to use them, might be careless, or might have a psychotic break.

    Reply

  10. BUckley says:

    Why is no one placing the rightful blame on the Tea Party
    and the Repugs who created this smog of hate first against
    Pelosi and then now continuing against the President.
    I

    Reply

  11. Maw of America says:

    drew – You conveniently assume that my comparison was in eliminating guns and illegal immigrants. But the fact is that most people simply want to start dealing with slowing the influx as opposed to removing them completely. If you ever intend to get a handle on the problem of illegal immigrants or too many guns, then you should stop them at the border (or the gun stores, shows, etc.).
    We have way too many guns, and it has yet to be proven to me that it makes us any safer.

    Reply

  12. drew says:

    Linda, the only thing I’m “afraid” of is people like you who
    infantilize those they disagree with, in order to avoid making an
    argument that relies on logic, data and fact — and then try to
    invoke the power of the state to tell others what to do.
    Especially when they don’t even know that automatic weapons
    are not sold in stores, or write sentences without articles.
    Actually, I’d be curious how many of the people with opinions on
    this subject know the difference between a full-auto weapon and
    a semi-auto weapon, because so far, the evidence is … very few.
    But that doesn’t seem to stop them from having prescriptive
    policy ideas about the very subject they don’t know anything
    about.
    Maw, sure, I’ll apply it to illegal immigrants. Anyone who thinks
    that we’re going to get rid of 15mm illegals, and that it’s a viable
    policy move to advocate getting rid of 15mm illegals, is high. Or
    being utopian. Actually, it’s the same class of problem. You
    prove my point. Did you think this through?
    The national debt is not the same class of problem and does not
    represent an environmental, physical condition. Ridding
    ourselves of the national debt is straightforward and has, in fact,
    been done before.

    Reply

  13. Maw of America says:

    drew – Apply that same logic to illiegal immigrants or the national debt. If a problem is so large that you can’t conceive of dealing with it, then you’ve already lost.
    Each journey starts with a step. But we’ve been fooled into thinking that this journey isn’t worth the first step. I fundamentally disagree with that.

    Reply

  14. Linda says:

    Drew or Anyone,
    NRA and gun lobby have done a great PR con job about fear of criminals with guns. The few times when a store owner or anybody actually stops a robbery with a gun are big news. But more often the gun is taken by the criminals or the gun isn’t handy or loaded or the person using it for protection really isn’t capable of using it in a panic situation like that.
    The entire argument used to make people afraid and framed with poor logic which we are following because it also is based on the argument that the government controls too much of our lives–so the best you can do is make an analogy to the government’s confiscating windows? That’s the logic they want you to believe because it’s like fear of flying which is a lot safer than driving one’s car every day. Your logic would say that government should not require seatbelts.
    I think it is perfectly reasonable to ban private citizens from owning automatic, semi-automatic, and assault weapons and to require that they all be turned in and destroyed.
    There are lots of public health articles and statistics on rates of homicide with guns (and most are people who know each other), suicide using guns, etc. But there is no point in quoting statistics when fear prevents people from considering them rationally.
    http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/history_violence-a.pdf If anybody wants to learn more, this is a good place to start. CDC has a lot of statistics on injury and violence. I used an “anecdote” that was really just am example of one case to stand for many others.

    Reply

  15. drew says:

    Maw:
    This is probably pointless but those other countries don’t have 300
    million guns in circulation. If you want to make your argument that
    we have to remove the 300 million guns, in order to have Denmark,
    cool. Good luck. I regard that as utopian thinking devoid of any
    practical import.
    I didn’t use my personal experience as a basis of any argument. So
    I don’t understand what the second paragraph is all about, other
    than to personalize the conversation.

    Reply

  16. Maw of America says:

    I have yet to read a compelling reason(s) for why those nations with tighter gun control or outright bans have a exponentially lower gun murder rate.
    Drew? Just because you can own a gun and not use it is hardly the rationale for gun rights. I have never owned a gun and I’ve never been a victim of crime. Correlation? Causation? Nonsense?

    Reply

  17. drew says:

    Put another way, it’s really not a very difficult analysis. Guns
    facilitate crime and killing. Guns also facilitate one’s defense
    against crime and killing. Thus unless more people are
    victimized as a result of defending themselves through gun
    ownership, restrictions on gun ownership make manifest the
    very condition one hopes to legislate out of existence. Or, one is
    left with the utopian idea that the 300 million guns already in
    circulation may be removed from American soil, sort of like
    incandescent light bulbs or high-flow toilets.
    The anecdote about the dad shooting his son is disturbing, and
    so are stories about parents damaging or killing their children
    with cars, farm equipment, or inadequately securing apartment
    building windows. I don’t know what the anecdote shows or
    proves though. Fortunately, we haven’t attempted to confiscate
    windows from apartment towers.

    Reply

  18. drew says:

    Linda, what are the facts that you reference? Because gun crime is
    lower in jurisdictions that foster concealed carry. Why is it better to
    have more gun crime as a result of gun prohibition?
    I understand the utopian appeal of a world without gun crime. I’m
    more interested in some sort of evidence-based argument.

    Reply

  19. LInda says:

    The Bradys and Steve are absolutely correct and have the facts on their side, i.e., there can and should be much stricter laws controlling availability of guns in the U.S., and this can be done without taking away Mermaid’s or any responsible citizen’s Second Amendment rights.
    In 2004 the NRA succeeded in getting gun control laws rolled back so that automatic and semi-automatic weapons and special ammunitions could be sold in U.S. These kinds of weapons are not designed for hunting or sport shotting or for self-defense. They are designed to kill lots of people at once, i.e., should not be sold.
    We also need to control gun show sales, have better background checks (though none of these or mental health system will ever be perfect in preventing tragedies like Tuscon), and longer waiting times.
    It is true that criminals will find a way to get guns—-and BTW, Mermaid, when you were approached in LA, did you take the time to call LAPD and maybe help them arrest these folks?
    In late 1970s in a Neighborhood Watch meeting in Hancock Park in LA, I asked the two LAPD officers presenting to us, this question: How many times in your combined 35 years of experience, have you seen a citizen with a gun successfully defend him/herself against a criminal vs. how many times have you seen:
    1. Domestic homicide because there was a gun handy in the home (Many homicides are between people who know each other and often are related.)
    2. Accidental injury or death involving a gun
    3. Suicide using a gun
    Their answer was that they would not recall one instance or the former and could not begin to count how many times they had seen the last four.
    There are good public health and safety reasons for better gun control laws that would save many lives, much human suffering, and even tax dollars, i.e., gun registration and license fees should be higher too.
    I am writing as a retried health care professional who has seen the 19 year old young man paralyzed from the waist down who was sneaking home late through a window when his father saw a shadow, thought it was an intruder, and shot his son and caused his paralysis two years earlier. The son was on Medi-Cal and in a nursing home for two years already when I saw him—all paid for by CA taxpayers.
    I don’t know many people who hunt with their bare hands, knives, or even bows and arrows. They use guns because guns are good at killing. Consider what would have happened Saturday if Loughner had tried to punch Giffords or stab her or had a regular handgun.
    POA,you are absolutely correct. And just in case, anyone wants to challenge me as a gal who is afraid of guns, I have a whole bunch of NRA sharp shooting medals from many years ago when I was one of the best shots at Camp Wingfoot for Girls on beautiful Lake Erie!

    Reply

  20. drew says:

    Maw, I think you spoke without doing any research, though I
    don’t know if Zamudio is an NRA member. I don’t think it
    matters. He was carrying legally.
    I don’t understand what the Bradys want, other than they want an
    end to gun violence. I think that they want to outlaw a variety of
    weapons and their personal ownership. As POA notes, some
    prescriptive position statement would clarify that. It would
    result in a situation where a Joe Zamudio does not feel
    empowered to make a citizens arrest and prevent further
    bloodshed.
    The Maryland economist John Lott has published extensively on
    the correlation between concealed carry/liberal legal gun
    ownership laws, and reduced crime.
    In general, I don’t think random violent acts by deranged loners
    are great occasions for political upheavals, or bushel baskets
    filled with new laws to parse. The reason is that the majority of
    the country knows that this guy is deranged, so in making all of
    these political points, the politicians are just, once again,
    demonstrating their contempt for that thing called the “public”.
    They’re telling the “public” that it is insufficiently controlled.
    Six inches from my computer right now I have the owners
    manual for my Glock 19; shall I be painted with the same brush
    as the shooter? I think, in general, Americans think better than
    their political elites think they do. A person can get bent out of
    shape about ‘targeting’ democratic seats, but that person needs
    to remember the president talking about ‘bringing a gun to a
    knife fight’, or the total absence of political interest in a national
    moment of silence after the non-muslim-related-totally-
    random shootings of two dozen soldiers at Fort Hood which had
    nothing whatsoever with radical Islam how dare you rush to
    judgment, or any of hundreds of high profile rhetorical excesses
    of the past 10 years.
    The toxic political dialogue that is our national political
    environment is one that can only be improved through elections
    and the application of quaint notions of shame.

    Reply

  21. RPB says:

    I hesitate to mention my feelings about Brady Campaign

    Reply

  22. LV Mermaid says:

    I believe in my 2nd Amendment Right to own/bear arms. I am a citizen who registers my handguns and takes safety courses every 2 years along with going to a certified target range to stay focused. If you take away arms from the average citizen, then the illegal gun market will escalate because walk downtown LA and you will be approached for Saturday night specials all over the place – I know because I was approached several times in broad daylight. The criminals have the best of the best and have all the time in the world to be experts since their occupation is us! Remember, guns don’t kill people – people kills people. The NRA – like most organizations – focus on the extreme at times and have the base goals in mind which is the right to bear arms. Senseless gun violence like that in Arizona causes the issue to come forward again with tighter gun laws and everyone suffers. How sad we have come to this!

    Reply

  23. Maw of America says:

    I would only repeat what Jake Johannson once said:
    “Guns don’t kill people. Bullets kill people. Guns just make them go really fast!”
    For all the guns in Arizona, you might think at least one of the vaunted NRA supporters would have jumped on the chance to demonstrate that having a gun adds to public safety, not diminishes it.

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’d be interested in the specificity of what you consider the Brady’s “policy work” goals are?
    Reasonable laws, or conviscation and the rendering of private gun ownership to be illegal???
    It will be interesting to see the mass amounts of criminals rushing to their corner cop shop to turn their weapons in….
    “Officer, here, I don’t need this anymore. From now on I’m gonna do home invasions armed with my wife’s girdle and a banana.”

    Reply

  25. Steve Clemons says:

    I think Wig’s point about Rep Giffords support of laws that the Brady’s oppose is on target. I put the Brady’s comments above not because I particularly care about Rep Gifford’s views on handgun controls but because I sympathize with the Brady’s views and thought that their statement was on point. We will have to see if Rep Giffords’ own views change over time — but the larger point is that I very much support what the Brady’s are trying to do in their information campaign and policy work. But no harm at all in Wig posting what she did. best, steve

    Reply

  26. WigWag says:

    “To be fair,” That’s a bizarre use of the phrase “to be fair.” (Non-hater)
    I’m not sure why you think premising my remark with “to be fair” is bizarre.
    The only reason Steve Clemons and others are highlighting Jim and Sarah Brady’s take on the current tragedy is because Jim Brady, after being shot by John Hinckley, Jr., became a champion for gun control. But for Brady’s status as an articulate spokesmen for gun control neither Steve nor anyone else would bother citing him when discussing the Giffords shooting.
    If it’s legitimate to highlight what the Bradys think about this shooting (of course it is legitimate), it seems fair to me to point out that Congresswoman Giffords disagrees with much of what Jim and Sarah Brady have to say about gun control.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    “To be fair,” That’s a bizarre use of the phrase “to be fair.” (Non-hater)
    I’m not sure why you think premising my remark with “to be fair” is bizarre.
    The only reason Steve Clemons and others are highlighting Jim and Sarah Brady’s take on the current tragedy is because Jim Brady, after being shot by John Hinckley, Jr., became a champion for gun control. But for Brady’s status as an articulate spokesmen for gun control neither Steve nor anyone else would bother citing him when discussing the Giffords shooting.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Reasonable gun possession laws need to be a piece of the violence puzzle”
    Which is precisely why I dumped my lifetime NRA membership when they were lobbying for private possession of teflon coated ammunition, and that asshole Heston was blathering on about wresting his guns out of his cold dead arms.
    But “reasonable” laws need to be based on knowledge and realism, not stupidity. One gun is an “assault weapon” because it is finished in matte black and has a handle, while the same semi-automatic weapon without the handle and with a pretty walnut stock is not an “assault weapon”?
    I have yet to meet a gun control nut that can put together a knowledge based argument. 99% of the time they stutter stupidly if you ask them to define “assault weapon” or “semi-automatic” vs “automatic”. And very few of them have a clue about NRA gun safety efforts, such as the highly successful and life saving program known as “Eddie Eagle”.
    Yes, we need sensible and resonable gun laws. But sensible and reasonable gun laws ARE not the agenda. The agenda, the inertia, is towards is gun confinscation, or, at least, laws that make gun ownership the exclusive right of the elite and the governing body’s enforcers. If you advocate for that, you aren’t paying very close attention to what our “governing body” is becoming under the management of the elite.
    BTW, I missed seeing “questions” comment regarding mental health care. I’ll look for it. It might be refreshing to see something from him that isn’t psuedo-intellectual prattle. I’ll cross my fingers during the search.

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    There is legitimacy to the gun control issue, POA, as a part of the picture. Reasonable gun possession laws need to be a piece of the violence puzzle. Just look at this particular link relating to the gun references from the Pallinites. I’ll bet most of those pictured have clean criminal records, yet they are screaming for violence. Is production of such threatening imagery reasonable, or is it fuel on a fire?
    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2011/01/08/these-are-not-the-violent-extremists-you-are-looking-for/
    BTW, I second your, and Questions, emphasis on the mental health piece (having worked 30 years in underfunded public mental health programs which are, dollar for dollar, far more cost effective than incarceration)

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’m dissappointed to see one of my predictions about this event come true, so fast, on this blog.
    While, on one hand, telling us how Viguerie was so reasonable in his commentary, with the other hand we see a political agenda being marketed, in an obvious attempt at politically capitalizing on a tragic event.
    If one wants to actually lobby towards the benefit of society, on the heels of such an event, why not lobby for easier and cheaper accessability to mental health care, or increased funding for our mental health facilities?
    Put the gun issue to rest here. One can find the folly behind “gun control laws” quite easily, simply by accurately defining the word “criminal”.

    Reply

  31. non-hater says:

    “To be fair,”
    That’s a bizarre use of the phrase “to be fair.”

    Reply

  32. WigWag says:

    “Here is more from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.” (Steve Clemons)
    To be fair, Congresswoman Giffords is a strong supporter of Second Amendment “rights.” For much of her political career, she has opposed the gun control measures advocated by Jim and Sarah Brady.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *